Inflatable footrests are a big boon for long-distance air travelers. Many international airlines do permit you to use an inflatable footrest on their long-haul flights. Such permissions come with some conditions as well.
While the broader answer to the question ‘Can you use inflatable footrest on a plane‘ is Yes, you will have to understand the background and other relevant details.
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Why Inflatable Footrest?
All aircraft have a solid footrest provided, usually fitted below the seat in front. The trouble with it is that not all air travelers are of the same height. Many will feel they have to hang their legs and travel or feel uncomfortable stretching the legs. This may be largely applicable for economy class passengers. Business-class and First-class seats may be designed better to offer the comfort needed. The discussion will also apply to flights of longer duration, like say 4 hours and above.
Now, let’s get to the health perspective. When you find it difficult to rest your legs properly for extended periods, your legs can cramp. Some passengers may even face the condition of blood clotting in their legs. This condition is medically described as ‘deep vein thrombosis’. If you have to avoid this risk completely, you will have to find other options. An inflatable footrest is in many ways a very good option.
How Does an Inflatable Footrest Work?
An inflatable footrest does not have too much technology involved in it. It is just a pillow-like thing where you inflate it to the desired height and use it to place your legs on it. The regular models of inflatable footrests have compartments. That gives you the flexibility to adjust the height of the footrest when inflated. You can also further fine-tune the height by deflating a little.
The size of the footrest is such that it can be placed between the seats. In the deflated form, it can be folded and kept in your bag. There are ways to inflate the footrest once you have boarded. If you have the lung strength, blow through the valve. Some air passengers make use of the airflow over their head to fill up the air, giving only the final touches through direct blowing.
Up to this point, you should have no difficulty. You can place the footrest the way you feel comfortable and complete the journey. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. There are some challenges.
Ways the Footrest Can be Used
Before discussing some of the issues faced, it may be interesting to know how regular air travelers use the inflatable footrests. Those traveling with children find the inflatable footrest very useful in extending the seat and converting it into a bed for the kid. This is a great advantage since putting the children to sleep in the narrow space of an economy class seat in the aircraft is very difficult. You end up making them sleep on your lap and that could be very uncomfortable. The regular use, for resting your feet, is of course available for you.
These reasons make the inflatable footrest an immensely useful product to carry when embarking on long journeys. While the discussion here has been centered around the aircraft, you can use the inflatable footrest for journeys by train or bus where you have to sit and travel.
The Issues You May Face
Airlines have to abide by many safety regulations. These are dictated by the regulators like FAA and cannot be overlooked by the airlines. They can invite serious penalties from FAA for violations of safety norms.
One such regulation is that no passenger can block the space between the seats. This is with the intention that if there was an emergency and the passengers are to be evacuated, there should be free movement of all passengers. This is one reason the crew on your flight may object to your placing an inflatable footrest.
The other practical difficulty is if you are allotted an aisle or a middle seat. The passenger on the window seat may want to get out to go to the toilet and find your footrest an obstruction.
Considering these, you can look for inflatable footrests that occupy less space and can be pushed below the seat in front. Go ahead and make your next journey a comfortable and memorable one.